A bad night's sleep (I won't bore you with the long list of aching body parts that made it so) leads to a slow start in the morning. Coffee and some cereal-style-nibbles see me off to the hour-long hike down. I leave my French friends to visit the lakes again before heading down - according to the forecast, the rain is not "due" until 1-2pm. I'm back at the car by 10:30am and on the road by 11. As I reach the ridge above and pause again, the repeat photo I take is somewhat different.
A thick veil of rain is making its way down the valley and is already over the hut I left a few hours ago. As I wind my way down the long road out, the rain catches up with me a half hour away from the sealed road but the mighty Bluebird Sylphy (where do they get the names for cars these days?) skims and skids and judders our way out. The rain pours and pours and pours for hours to come.
Later in the day, the wanderer cannot resist one more run along the beach in Pohara but his long-suffering legs are spared by another downpour. The evening brings a calmer period and allows for a mystical beach walk as the light fades. Standing at the end of the world again - and it feels good.
The wanderer is changing base. A desire is being realised. The UK will no longer be the wanderer's base.
From January 2019, Te Wai Pounamu in Aoteroa becomes the wanderer's home base.
A wee city named Ōtautahi in a place more recently named Canterbury will be home.
(also known as Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand)... full info